Missing VBE Toolbars

There are some days that I feel like I’m using Excel for the first time. Yesterday was one of them. The menu and toolbars were gone from the Visual Basic Editor. View > Toolbars didn’t work. I couldn’t right click on anything to Customize the toolbars. From the Immediate Window, I determined that the Height, Visible, and Enabled properties were all what they should be. I could not figure out where the darn toolbars went.

I closed the VBE, but did not close Excel. I reopened the VBE (Alt+F11) and all the toolbars were back. Strange.

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19 thoughts on “Missing VBE Toolbars

  1. Sadly it’s not strange…

    I get that a lot (Windows SP SP2 – Excel 2002 SP3).

    I just end up doing the same as you did.

    I just put it down to one of those things.

  2. Mine does that every time that I have:
    A. Opened Excel
    B. Opened the VBA Editor
    C. Closed the VBA Editor
    D. Locked Windows (Windows Key + L)
    When I then log back into Windows, the VBA Editor will be open but with no toolbars. Solution to make toolbars reappear: close the editor and reopen. I’m running XL 2003 on XP Pro Service Pack2. Anyone else with the same issue?


  3. Dick –

    I’m surprised you spent so much time trying to figure this out. When it first happened to me, I closed the VBE and reopened it, and the toolbars were revived. That’s always the first thing to try when a UI seems broken (though it hasn’t worked yet for Office 2007). The VBE toolbars disappear on me no more than about once a week.

  4. I get the same as Charles after locking the computer (XL2003 / XP SP2). I don’t use a screen saver, so I don’t think that’s it. Luckily, it doesn’t happen very often.

  5. I get a similar thing to Charles. Whenever I lock my (work) PC (XP with Office 2K), when Excel is running I get a VBE with no toolbars.

    What’s even stranger, is that after I have used the VBE at some point through the day, if I then close Excel and lock the PC, when I unlock it, I get the Excel VBE, even though Excel isn’t running. Which is as good as demonstrating (57.8-57)=0.799999999999997 for impressing the ladies…

  6. PS If these hangs occur when resume from any sleep state (s1 or s3)
    I sometimes find a small iexplorer task (2k), while there are no iexplorer windows open.
    Killing that task also does the trick. Haven’t figured which process is spawning it though, but since it’s not malicious I dont really care.

  7. It’s nice to know that others also have to live with the shortcomings of Excel. ;-) The disappearing VBE toolbar is obviously one of the new features introduced with 2007. I never had this before (skipped 2003 though). Solution as stated above.

    Greetings to MikeC who is a fellow sufferer under the phenomenon “open-vbe-when-you-come-back-from-screensaver-regardless-of-where-the-current-focus-is”. This started at least with 2002 if not before. Solution none.

  8. Al –

    I’ve lost the VBE command bars when using an earlier Excel version than 2007, though I don’t know if it’s only 2003 or also earlier. It doesn’t happen very frequently.

  9. I’ve seen it happen in my Excel 2000 install, which is the machine that I use to develop.

  10. You are a life saver. The same thing happen to me today, and I too felt like I knew nothing about Excel as the anxioty mounted and panic started to set in.

  11. At the same time as finding this page, which made me feel a lot better :) I also found Microsoft’s kb article 829059. I’ve done a couple of quick tests with my VB editor not maximised and this seems to solve the problem. OK, it’s a pain that I can’t keep the window maximised but it’s better than the alternative. Hope this helps.

  12. Infuriating problem. Glad I’m not the only one who was panicking.

    Many thanks for the fixes.

  13. Here too the same weird behaviour… just stress even more my hartred for MS products in general that I am forced to use in the office… think the world would be a better and safer place without MS (and only with Unix type OS & softs built on it).

    It also shows how Excel – VBA, despite being a great tool because very easy to learn and automate things with, is a very poor environment… and who says poor says cheap quality… the simple fact that it exhibits these erratic behaviours (this one being only one of a multitude I personally encounter on a weekly basis) how how poorly it has been developped…

    as you understood by now, I am unhappy and forced user of excel/vba… but I know that I am very demanding, it still does the job most of the time…

  14. Hello Everyone,

    I got the solution for this, open VBA editor and press Alt+Right arrow key, it will rotate your screen to right. Now you should be able see Menu bar, now move the menu bar to right side of your screen. Now press Alt+up arrow key, it will rotate your screen back to the position. Now you can position the menu bar where ever you want.

    Hope it helps….

    Thank you.

  15. On my laptop I needed to press Ctrl+Alt+Right Arrow. The menu bar appears immediately and as you said press Ctrl+Alt+Up Arrow. Works perfectly for me and thanks for the great tip.

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